SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Our cold weather has put a chill on donations to the Salvation Army over the holidays. Red Kettle campaigns are down tens of thousands of dollars across the state. But there is still time to drop money into the kettles in spite of the cold.
Businesses in Sioux Falls are allowing Salvation Army bell ringers to come in out of the cold.
“We are so grateful for that. That’s just too dangerous to be out there in the elements,” Salvation Army Advisory Board Chairman Steve Cook said.
The Sioux Falls Salvation Army says donations over the holidays have plummeted with the temperatures.
“We are approximately $50-thousand down in the Red Kettle campaign and with our general appeals we’re down over $100-thousand,” Cook said.
Those donations help fund programs like Toy Town, underway right now, which allows families in need to pick-out holiday gifts.
“We have volunteers out there helping the customers shop. The parents are shopping for toys for their kids and the kids, as far as they know, the toys came from mom and dad,” Cook said.
The Salvation Army in Rapid City is hoping for a late surge in online donations because their Red Kettle campaign is $80,000 from their goal.
“It’s a shame because we were on pace to do really, really well. Possibly even exceeding our goal, at this point. But now, it’s going to be difficult,” Salvation Army of the Black Hills Area Coordinator Major Jerry O’Neil said.
The Sioux Falls Salvation Army received a boost this week with the anonymous donation of a gold coin.
“And looking at the gold prices, that’s worth about $18-hundred. That will make a big impact for us,” Cook said.
The Salvation Army is grateful for each and every donation, especially when cold weather and tough economic times are making it more of a challenge to fill their red kettles.
The Salvation Army is especially in need of boys’ toys, ages ten to twelve, for its Toy Town. You can drop off donations at The Empire Mall’s Angel Tree.